Medieval Knight Vs. Viking?
Vikings and Medieval Knights, the warriors of two different time periods, both lived by codes of honor. While both were expected to be brave and courageous in combat, their codes of honor also dictated their behavior and actions outside of battle.
- Time Period: 790 - 1066 A.D.
- Geographic Range: Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden
- Religion: Asatru (Pagan)
- Appearances: Beowulf
Vikings were the predecessors of Medieval Knights, known for their raids on the British Isles, France, and other areas of Europe. Vikings practiced a religion called Asatru, which was based on pagan values. Their moral code was based on Nine Noble Virtues, which were written in their religious text, the Havamal.
Nine Noble Virtues
- Courage: You must have courage to do what you believe is morally correct, in and out of combat.
- Truth: You should have enough faith in your words and actions to be truthful about them. Lies are an act of cowardice.
- Honor: You should be true to your beliefs, in and out of combat.
- Fidelity: You should be faithful to God, but also to your friends and comrades.
- Discipline: You should live by your own code of honor, not the beliefs of another individual.
- Hospitality: You should treat others with dignity and respect and aid the less fortunate, when possible.
- Industriousness: You should be the best at what you do, be it your career or otherwise.
- Self-Reliance: While it is fine to have friends, you should also be independent and able to function on your own.
- Perseverance: No one is perfect. You should overcome your mistakes and strive to better yourself, when possible.
- Time Period: 5th - 15th Century (Middle Ages)
- Geographic Range: Europe
- Religion: Christianity
- Appearances: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Medieval Knights were the warriors of the Middle Ages, depicted as brave, faithful, and chivalrous. Knights practiced Christian values, but followed the Code of Chivalry and the Vows of Knighthood as their moral code, not a religious text.
Code of Chivalry
- Fear God and maintain his churches.
- Serve the liege lord faithfully.
- Protect the unfortunate and defenseless.
- Assist widows and orphans.
- Refrain from offending others.
- Live by honor and for glory.
- Despise monetary reward.
- Defend the welfare of all people.
- Obey authority.
- Guard the honor of fellow knights.
- Avoid unfairness, cruelty, and deceitfulness.
- Be faithful.
- Be truthful.
- Persevere until the end in all affairs.
- Respect women.
- Never refuse a challenge.
- Practiced Codes of Honor
- Practiced Faithfulness & Loyalty
- Practiced Honesty
- Practiced Perseverance
- Practiced Honor
- Protected Women & Children
- Protected the Less Fortunate
- Knights are portrayed as brave, chivalrous, and heroic, while vikings are depicted as barbaric, cruel, and dishonorable in modern media.
- Knights separated their code of honor from their religious beliefs, while vikings used their religious text as their code of honor.
- Knights served kings, emperors, or other rulers, but vikings served no one.
- Vikings pirated from others; knights didn't.